Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Can't Let It Stop Me

Fear.  4 little letters but such an incredibly powerful thing.  The unthinkable happened recently in CT.  I cannot, at all, wrap my head around it still.  Mental illness is no stranger to me as any of you who knew my father can attest to.  However, I cannot wrap my head around the lives of innocent children being taken. 

I've read a lot on the subject since it happened and the one thing I could understand is one mom who said it's because we know what 6 and 7 looks like.  As moms, we know how completely innocent 6 and 7 year olds are and we know what they do, think about, dream about, etc. every day.  It hits closer to home than other tragedies, not to say any one is more tragic than the other, it's just easier for us to relate to.  Here's the thing though, I don't want it to be easier to relate to.  I don't want to think about children dying in such a horrible way in a place where they should be safe.  I've taught first grade.  I know what a first grade classroom looks like.  I know the books they were probably reading and where they were in math.  I know that the biggest concern they had before that day was who they were going to play with at recess and whether or not their teacher would allow sweets at the holiday party.  I don't want to think about that classroom filled with little bodies riddled with bullet holes.  I know that sounds selfish but it's just too much.

In my head I can go to a place where it's me, I'm a teacher in that school.  Would I have been able to keep my cool?  Would I have been so self less?  I struggle with thinking I would do whatever it takes to protect the children in my care but what about my own children?  Who's protecting them?  Sigh......would I sacrifice myself for someone else's children and leave my own children alone?  I can't imagine being put in that situation.

Since the shooting I've been on edge.  How can I feel good about sending my kids to school each day?  How can I avoid thinking about what could happen while they are there?  There it is again, FEAR. 

I've chosen, and I didn't say it's the best choice, to put it behind me.  Every day there are so many things we should be afraid of; car accidents, fires, burglaries, shootings and those are just the big ones.  I can't and I won't live my life in constant fear.  What happened in CT was so completely random and unlikely to happen to my children that I have to push through my fear and put on my happy face as I send them off on the bus.  I can't let the fear win. 

I listen to my mommy gut and make decisions based on how I feel about things and my mommy gut says they are going to be OK.  If there comes a day when my gut says to keep them home, I will, believe me. 

As a mom there are so many things we worry about for our kids.  I can't even count the number of nights I've lost sleep worrying about them.  Right now Little Guy is up in Grammy's bed with a fever and I worry it'll turn into something more, that he will be in pain, that he will be sick at Christmas. See?  We already have so much to worry about that there are things we need to let go. 

I will never forget what happened in Newtown and I will never forget the little faces I've seen on the news.  I will always remember the parents who lost their children.  I will be vigilant and advocate for safer schools but I will not let it stop me from living my life and letting my kids live theirs.  I can't, what kind of life would that be? 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Story of Aiden

When I first met Sadie she didn't want kids.  I did.  It was not a match made in heaven.  It took a little bit for her to come around but she did eventually agree one kid would be OK.
I made short work of figuring out the logistics.  Once we picked a cryobank (sperm bank) we had to choose a donor.  We poured over profiles trying to figure out what was important to us and what wasn't.  In the end, there was one donor we loved above all others.  We chose our two backups (though truly hoped they wouldn't be needed) and got ready to order.  Sadie called to place the order and low and behold, our number one choice was not available.  What???  We went with choice number two, did the insemination and nada, not pregnant.

The second month Sadie called we discovered our number one choice was back!!  Yay!!  We did the insemination's and just 12 days later we knew; we were pregnant!  I remember that day so clearly.  I woke up early and peed on one of about 3,658 pregnancy tests I had on hand.  It quickly looked negative and I climbed back into bed and slept a little longer.  When I woke up later the test was positive., I was new to this but knew that after a certain time frame a negative test could turn positive even if you weren't pregnant and you really shouldn't read them after the time frame but for some reason this little glimmer of hope and excitement started building.  The tests I had at home were super cheap, off the Internet, crappy tests so I was dying to run out and get a good one.  I showered, dressed and was ready to go when I realized my car was not in front of my house where I had left it.  Huh?  It had snowed and apparently the city had issued a parking ban and while I slept I missed the sound of a tow truck taking away my car.  UGH.  The thought of having to get my car back made me nauseous...hmm.....nauseous?  I was even more excited and anxious now to get a good pregnancy test.  I did eventually get my car back and I went to CVS to buy every pregnancy test they had and yes, I was in fact pregnant.  I remember the shear joy, the excitement, the feeling of wonder and amazement that we had done it and I was baking up my own little human.  Crazy.

The pregnancy wasn't too bad.  I had my fair share of morning sickness and Sadie has plenty of stories about me getting sick but every time I got sick I reminded myself how lucky I was to be pregnant at all and I was thankful it had been so easy.  While ocassionally uncomfortable, I was lucky that the pregnancy was fairly easy.  My blood pressure was creeping up the further I got and I had to do a few 24 hour urine tests but everything was OK.  I was teaching pre-K/K at a day care center at the time and b/c class was out for the year I was spending the summer in the baby and toddler rooms.  At my 36 week routine appt. my OB was again concerned with my blood pressure and requested another 24 hour urine collection and pulled me from work.  It was a Thursday afternoon.  I did the 24 hour collection and had to bring it to Maine Med Sat morning and have some blood work done.  I went home after the blood draw and waited to hear from my OB's office about the results.  I wasn't worried at all, I had done this a few times.  It was maybe an hour later when my phone ring and I was talking with the OB on call.  There was protein in my urine, it looked like pre-eclampsia, and I was told to come check in to the hospital as soon as possible because this was serious and either myself or the baby could die.  WOW.  Those are really the words he used and will forever be burned into my brain.  I showered, grabbed my bag,  and threw the uninstalled car seat into our minivan and then drove myself to the hospital.

In the hospital parking lot before I went in I installed the car seat (I was worried no one else would be able to figure it out if I ended up having to have the baby early.  It was purely a "just in case" measure).  I checked in to Mercy hospital and seriously felt like all the hub bub was for nothing, I felt fine.  Aiden looked good on the monitor, I was not having any contractions, all was well.  The OB told me he'd monitor me for 24 hours and if everything looked good I could go home.  Phew.  Later that day there was a shift change and the new OB on call came in to do an exam.  The part I remember vividly is when she tested my knee reflexes.  She hit my knee and my leg bounced up and down a lot.  She asked me again how I felt and I said fine because I did.  She told me I was really sick with pre-eclampsia and she needed to induce labor.  From that point on I had a nurse in my room 24/7 and I was not allowed to leave the bed except to use the bathroom.  I never realized how sick I was and I am thankful that I never felt sick and thankful that the doctors caught it.

Labor induction sucked.  Flat out sucked.  From the very beginning I had contractions (though mild) and it took forever.  They started around midnight Saturday night and Aiden did not arrive until 5:12PM on Monday.  I hurt, a lot.  I wanted a natural child birth but there's nothing natural about pitocin and not being allowed to get up and move around.  Sometime Sunday night I caved and had nubaine and later, an epidural.  I slept in short fits after that but not for long b/c the epidural stopped working.  By Monday morning I was feeling every contraction, throwing up, shaking, and exhausted.  They tried to fix the epidural but never got it and I had to suffer through, laying on my back in a hospital bed, attached to a blood pressure cuff.  Misery.

Late Monday afternoon they became concerned with Aiden's heart rate and opted to put a monitor on his head to get better readings.  They were still concerned.  I made it to 8CM dilated and the OB asked me to give one good push so he could see what would happen.  Aiden did not tolerate that at all and it was decided I was going for a c-section, now.  Things happened pretty quickly.  With the epidural not working they gave me dose after dose of lidocaine through the epidural line but it wasn't working.  They were still injecting lidocaine as they rolled me down the hall to the OR.  The lidocaine hit all at once and I couldn't feel anything below my chin, it was scary.

In the OR I couldn't feel myself breathing which was weird and I wasn't breathing well so they had to give me oxygen.  Sadie came in right before they began and sat with me.  I fell asleep :(  I had been having contractions for over 40 hours and slept so little that now that the pain was gone I could not stay awake.  I did not get to hear them say when he was born but came to shortly after he arrived.  Aiden did not cry :(  I remember the panic setting in.  I looked over at the warmer and could see that he was blue.  His first APGAR score was a 2.  They worked wonders and a few minutes later his second score was 6 or 7.  He pinked up a little and was breathing.  I was not allowed to hold Aiden, he was wheeled by in an incubator and I only got that little glimpse.  My poor baby was not tolerating being born 3.5 weeks early and did not like all the drugs they had to give me b/c of the eclampsia.

Sadie went with Aiden and once back in the room I heard he was 7lbs 6oz and 20.25" long, a good size for his gestational age.  She said he was making these cute little grunty noises which the nurse then told her weren't good noises, he was struggling to breathe.  I wanted to see my baby so badly but there I was back in that bed, flat on my back attached to a blood pressure cuff and a morphine pump for pain.  I begged, and begged to see him and finally just after 7PM they brought Aiden to me.  I was warned he wasn't holding his temperature well and may have to head back to the warmer.  He was crying when they handed him to me and as soon as I held him against me he stopped.  One of the nurses said "that's the first time he's stopped crying."  Sigh.....he just wanted his momma.  I wrapped him up tight and cuddled him close in hopes of keeping him with me and it worked.  His temperature regulated and that boy never left my side again.

Aiden is a Leo: Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac. These folks are impossible to miss, since they love being center stage. Making an impression is Job One for Leos, and when you consider their personal magnetism, you see the job is quite easy. It's the Lion that symbolizes Leos, and the king (or queen) of the jungle is a most appropriate mascot, since they consider themselves the rulers of their universe (and the zodiac at that).Leo is ruled by the Sun -- the center of the universe and the fuel for our being. Those born under this sign are fearless and strong, which may be why Lions plunge in headfirst and let the chips fall where they may.

It explains so much :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh My How Things Have Changed

8 years ago life was very different.  8 years ago I was preparing to give birth to my first born.  I could never have guessed at how many ways my life would change.  Here are a few of the things I can think of that are different.

1) Sleeping in is practically non existent and when it happens it means sleeping until 7:30. 
2) The kids have a great wardrobe and I own mom jeans, tshirts and sneakers (a far cry from my retail days).
3) Dinner out means Bugaboo, Applebee's, Friendly's or any place that serves french fries, chicken fingers and mac and cheese from a box.
4) Going to the beach requires a wagon full of sand toys, towels, and floaties and not a book or magazine in sight.  How can I read and relax when the kids are in the water??
5) No days off.  Ever.
6) Sick days involve doing everything I always do, except I am sick. No lounging on the couch watching TV and resting.
7) I can't ride amusement park rides.  I don't know what happened but ever since Big Guy's birth I am super sensitive to motion.
8) My friends are the mothers of the kids friends. 
9) Watching TV with the kids around means nothing over PG-13 and learning how to turn down the volume or change the channel quickly.
10) I frequent Toys R Us, Target and Wal Mart more than the mall.
11) I laugh more often.  Man can these guys make me laugh.
12) I can smile just thinking about my boys.
13) I've learned that the quote about how being a parent is like having your heart walk around outside your body is true and it's hard.
14) Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury.
15) Getting through a shower without someone barging in to ask a question is a miracle.
16) I know more about what's going on on Phineas and Ferb than the Bachelor.
17) My favorite books are less than 20 pages and have LOTS of pictures. 
18) When I get stressed I color. (I used to shop)
19) My bookmarks on the computer are mommy blogs.
20) I have never been happier or more thankful for anything in all my life.

**Please leave a comment with the things in your life that have changed

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


At the beginning of each summer I get this slight sense of dread.  Playing cruise director for two active boys is a tough role and in the summer I have to step it up a notch because they are home, ALL day.  For me there is a fine balance between over and under scheduling.  Under schedule and I hear "I'm bored" and "what are we doing today?"  over and over like a broken record.  Over schedule and the boys are so tired that their attitudes and behavior stink.  I've been walking that fine line since the last day of school.  We've had play dates, sleepovers, been to the movies, the races, rollerskating, had fires and s'mores and spent lots of time in the pool. 

Ah yes, the pool, we love it.  My boys may grow gills before the summer is over.  Big guy is a full on swimmer now and is working on his stamina.  He's learned to float on his back finally and is even trying the backstroke.  He loves to cannonball and after watching his friend do it he is now an underwater swimmer.  I love how comfortable he is in the water.  Little guy has come leaps and bounds in the pool and this past week has blown us away.  He gave up his life jacket and donned a pair of goggle and the rest, they say, is history.  Little guy loves to be under the water, is swimming short distances, and can make a heck of a splash doing cannonballs.  He's got guts like no other and amazes me with how far he's come so fast. Our friends ask us if we swim all day every day now that we have a pool.  We swim every day that the weather cooperates and most days, twice.  It's a lot of fun and the boys and I really connect in the pool.  We laugh until our belly's hurt, we applaud each others progress and we talk while we float around.  I can't say enough about our time in the pool, it's quality time and I am soaking it up.

I can only hope that there are a few more summers to come where doing cannonballs and blowing bubbles underwater are on the agenda.  But in case there aren't if you need me I'll be in the pool.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Not All Butterflies and Daisies

Being a mom is a wonderful thing.  It's something I knew I always wanted, something I fought hard for, and something I love with all my heart.  That said, being a mom is hard.  It's poop, it's puke, it's people telling you they hate you.  It is defiance, it is struggle, it is facing your fears.  Being a mom means you do anything and everything you never thought you would.

Over the past few years I have had similar discussions with different moms.  We all love our children but sometimes being a mom isn't all it's cracked up to be.  You get tired, you get sick and by the 459,856th time your child asks "why?" your answer may not be one you are proud of.  Someone close to me confessed that she doesn't always like being a mom and sometimes doesn't like her kid.  She loves him tons and always will but there are moments when she doesn't "like" him.  I get it.  I told her it was normal.  Am I professional parent?  No, but the fact is that everyone mom friend I've been close with has confided nearly the exact same thing.  I've decided it's normal but not enough people talk about it.  Why is that?  What other job in the world is there where you are expected to love every minute of it.  I don't know anyone who's caught a puddle of puke in their bare hands and said they loved motherhood right after it.  Am I thankful I have a child even when he is spewing geysers?  Yes.  Am I thankful that sometimes I have to catch it in my hands to avoid a large clean up on the couch?  No. 

My advice?  Well, as stated above, I am not a professional but after nearly 8 years of parenting big guy I have learned a few things.  Moms need breaks.  They need naps, they need to lose themselves in good books, they need friends and they need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.  I love to leave the kids behind with Dado and head out to window shop.  I crank up the stereo in the car, roll down the windows and rock out like I am a lot younger than I am, it's therapy.  I love to come home just in time for bedtime to get my hugs and kisses, read a story and tuck in some sleepy heads.  I feel like a better mom after a break, even a short one. 

I love my boys but I love me too and that, I have learned, is very important. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

She Should Pay Us

Sadie and I have been in couples therapy since December.  Things were bad, we were bad, it was our last shot to fixing it.  Therapy has definitely helped and things are better. 

That said, I really think our therapist should be paying us.  Tonight she informed us that she looks forward to our sessions.  We all laugh, a lot.  We laugh at each other, the situations, our lives, etc.  Let's face it, there's a lot of material to work with.  I grew up with the undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic father, have issues communicating my feelings, and have enough emotional baggage I should really pay a bell hop to follow me around.  Sadie is the blind girl and stupid sh*t just happens to her because, well, she can't see it coming (insert ba dum bum here).  We're poor, we're crafty with our finances and resources and we've learned that even when the crap is hitting the fan if you laugh, it helps.  Tonight was no different.  At one point I really considered the idea that perhaps we should ask our therapist if we should bring Depends with us for her.  She had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard and was struggling to catch her breath.  She often tells us to take our act to the comedy connection.  I don't think we're that funny, I just think she probably just deals with a lot of dull, depressed people all day. 

No real point to this blog post except to say that laughter really is the best medicine and if you can laugh at yourself, kudos to you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Little One

Sadie and I agreed upon having one child.  She was terrified of being a parent and never imagined herself in that role so one was a huge step.  It wasn't much after Big Guy turned one that I knew I HAD to have another baby. I can't really explain it except to say it didn't feel like an option for me.  Something, somewhere was nagging at me and I just knew I had to do it.  Sadie was reluctant at first but when the same donor we used for Big Guy had some vials returned that were available we jumped on it.  It must have been fate that I checked the cryobank website that day but I swooped in and bought those vials as fast as a momma bird swooping in to protect her young. 

Conceiving Little Guy was difficult.  There was a lot more pressure because we had a limited number of vials (8) which gave us four months of trying to conceive. (We chose 2 vials a month, some people only do 1).  Months one and two came and went and that damn pregnancy test broke my heart every time.  My cycle got funky from stress and I went to talk to my doctor about getting some help through medication.  I was prescribed Clomid and sent off to try again.  The third month of trying I was completely convinced I was pregnant.  The test, negative.  I couldn't understand it until I learned that Clomid side effects can mirror early pregnancy symptoms.  Humph.  I was depressed, anxious and moody doesn't even begin to describe my Clomid attitude.  I would literally laugh and smile one minute and sob uncontrollably the next.  I seriously considered not doing Clomid for the next cycle because the side effects were so bad.  I could not give up.  I took the meds and went on to our last month.  The pressure was immense, it was all on me at this point and this was our last shot.  I scheduled the two days of insemination's and went to the first.  Sadie had an important meeting and couldn't be there so I braved it alone.  IUI (intrauterine insemination) wasn't horrible by any means, some times it was slightly painful and others not at all, it's just nerve wracking.  I was sitting in the exam room waiting for my doctor to come in and do the procedure.  A fair amount of time had passed and I was getting more and more anxious. Then, a knock at the door and in walked one of my favorite NP's.  Shuffling in behind the NP was another woman and they both looked very solemn.  I don't remember the exact wording but I was told that the medical assistant had, while preparing the vial for insemination, accidentally spilled it's contents.  Horror.  I cried, a lot.  This, our last month, our last two vials and now one of them was gone.  The donor had retired and there were no others out there and she spilled one???  I could not comprehend how it happened, could not understand why it was happening to me.  I re-assured the assistant that while I was devastatingly sad I was not angry at her, and I wasn't.  Mistakes do happen, to everyone, and she was genuinely sorry.  How could I be angry at her?  I was, instead, angry at the world.  The prepared the last vial and I was inseminated and instead of the usual 10 minutes with my feet in the air they gave me at least 20 to try to ease my mind.  It didn't matter though, I knew I would not get pregnant. Nothing had gone as planned this time, nothing was working and the spilled vial was just another sign I should be happy with Big Guy and let it go.  Low and behold, just 9 days later there was a + on the pregnancy test, faint but there.  I was convinced it was a false positive because in my head I had resigned to the fact that this wasn't going to work.  I took something like 11 tests before I believed it. 

My pregnancy went fairly smooth.  I had some issues with my blood pressure but nothing like the pre-eclampsia I experienced with Big Guy.  I spent one night in the hospital prior to delivery because of elevated pressure and little fetal movement but all was well in the end.  Little guy arrived on his scheduled c-section date at 39 weeks.  My doctor had to use the vacuum to get him out because he was so tightly wedged in my pelvis and could barely lift him over the curtain for me to see.  In fact, all I got to see were the family jewels.  Little guy weighed in at 10 pounds 14 ounces and from the moment my eyes met his I knew why he had to be.  Little Guy is an old soul, someone you've known forever. 

I can't imagine life without my boys and I am ever so thankful to the man who chose to be a sperm donor.  I do not know your name or where you live but I feel like I know so much about you through watching my boys grow.  You will never be able to understand the gift you have given me.  You gave me the gift of motherhood, you gave me the gift of sons, you gave me the gift of life. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Selective Hearing

The selective hearing in my house could win awards.  Now, I know I am inevitably going to hear from women who will gush on and on about how if I were married to a man I would really know about selective hearing.  For whatever reason, men seem to take the cake on this particular trait.  So, let me pre-empt that but telling you all that Sadie is really a dude.  No, not like pre or post op dude but she acts more like a guy than a couple of my friends husbands (those with well dressed husbands and color coordinated closets know who you are).  Sadie believes me when I say I am "fine", forgets holidays, believes me when I say we aren't going to exchange gifts at Xmas or for our anniversary and feigns surprise when I get her something, and has selective hearing which when you combine with the blind thing makes for a really great Helen Keller joke.  Mostly though, I refer to my boys.  I often find myself speaking to walls, floors, ceilings, and many other inanimate objects because the animate ones aren't listening.  I get that they are kids and often caught up in play but the thing that really gets me is when they ask me a question and then don't listen to the answer and say "what?"  or ask it again. " Momma's gonna lose her shiz-nit honey" is what I want to say as I sometimes not so patiently try again.  There are also the times when you ask them something or tell them to do something and they say "what?" I repeat and they repeat "what?" I say it a third time through gritted teeth omitting f*ck from in between each word which is now how I hear it in my head.  And again, I hear "what?"  This is when all bets are off and momma turns into a crazy lady.  Sometimes I just scream because I figure a guttural scream is better than the slew of profanities I really want to sling in their direction.  I've learned to employ a few tricks of the trade like making them stop what they are doing and look me in the eye, or stand right in front of them while talking but these only work about 30% of the time.  So what do I do?  I beat my fists in the air while I scream and throw a little hissy fit to let off steam, I stick my head in the freezer to cool off (a trick I learned shortly after giving birth to A)  and I bitch to friends because the same thing happens to them too and then I don't feel so alone. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stories for Another Day

A few weeks ago Sadie and I were sitting with the boys on the couch and we started talking about life when they were babies (I mean, really 5 and 7.5 year olds are SO grown up).  We laughed over a lot of the stories of toddler mischief and new parenting mistakes.  There was only one problem, we didn't have much material for the 5 year old. 

Our first born, A, was a handful.  The journal I kept for him is full of stories of destruction and mayhem.  A used to empty the tupperware cabinet and pots and pans drawer on a regular basis, loved tearing all the diapers out of the cabinet, painted himself with Desitin, fell asleep in a cabinet while playing hide and seek and used to climb his dresser, take the lampshade off the lamp and burn a hole in the plastic covering of the changing pad in the time it would take me to pee.  He kept me on my toes and R should be thankful I ever considered having another child.  That said , A was a cuddler, a momma's boy and made me laugh a lot. 

R was the good baby.  He slept well, napped well, and rarely caused trouble.  Whether it was his nature or the fact that A had trained me well and I knew what to watch for we will never know.  All I know is that R's journal is filled with stories of things like long cuddly naps, favorite toys and my professing my love for him repeatedly.  He was easy.  R was sad there were not as many funny stories about him and I tried to reassure him it was just because he was so good, not because I had forgotten to write them down.  Sure, there was the time he was in the jumparoo and a mysterious brown puddle formed under his feet, and the ball popper that became a pacifier popper but nothing big. 

In the past few days though R has added to his journal.  It started with another mom telling me she heard R say he "goosed" someone on the playground.  I asked him what "goosed" meant and he said "you know, like duck, duck goose. I goosed someone."  That was a good laugh.  Then yesterday my little man unknowingly auditioned to be a Chippendale.  I sent him to bed in his Batman footy pj's and he came out in the AM in boxer briefs and a sparkly green light up bow tie from St. Patrick's Day.  So while his baby/toddlerhood were not the most amusing I do believe he will make up for that and have stories to share another day. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Living In the Moment

I used to hate all of those corny sayings like "be in the moment", "focus on the now", "one step at a time" and all the others I have blocked from my mind.  I don't know why they struck such a nerve with me but they literally made my skin crawl every time someone posted them on FB or said them out loud.  Lately though, I've been living in the moment, there I said it.  I have so many balls up in the air and I am trying to do so much that living in the moment is the only way to survive.

Life is busy for everyone, I know.  We all have our stuff whether we have kids or not.  Somehow, everyone I know has a full plate and needs more hours in their day.  I often wonder why we all do this to ourselves.  For me, everything that's going on is something I want to be involved with and I find it hard to say no to things that are important to me. 

My friend Jess is doing great after having her brain tumor removed but will soon start chemo.  I chat with her on FB more than anything lately and it's nice to have bits and pieces of her friendship back as she feels better.  I often remind myself that when things look or feel really bad for me, she has it worse and I shouldn't complain.  I've been running her donation site to raise funds to help with their expenses, organizing a group of people to donate meals for her family, and trying to spread the word about a benefit dance her family and friends have organized.  I wish I could do more, wish I could donate meals myself but since I can barely afford to feed my own family I organize and donate my time instead.

Sadie's eyesight has been deteriorating quickly and we are waiting until April 17th to head to Boston and get some answers.  We have known all along this would happen eventually but the swiftness in which it occurred is troubling and we are hoping to be able to fix some of it.  It's particularly difficult for me because I know that she is struggling big time with work and day to day things and is extremely stressed about thinking about the future and what is to come.  I try to support the best I can but inside I am equally as stressed.  This means huge changes for our family dynamic as she may no longer be our breadwinner.  I've been keeping my eye on the job market and polishing up my resume but I do so with a heavy heart.  I don't blame her in any way, let's get that out of the way. She never asked to be blind, I get that.  It's just a lot for me to process and I can already feel myself mourning my stay at home mom status. I am thankful for every day I have had home with my boys, volunteering in the schools, arranging playdates, transporting to appointments, etc. and I know I should focus on what I have had and not on what I will not in the future.  It's just hard.  I knew this day would come but are you ever really ready?? 

Riley is getting ready for Kindergarten!  I can't believe that  my baby is going to school.  Wow. I registered him the other night and set up his screening appointment.  Now I am also dealing with his IEP and getting speech services set up for him in public school.  There are so many details to remember and ducks to get in a row.  In addition I think he has some sort of food allergy but his pediatrician doesn't agree.  Time to call back and fight for my kid and what he needs!

Then there's money.  When isn't money a concern? I think I have finally come up with enough to regsiter my car by the end of the month which is a relief.  The big stress is that my lease comes to an end in June.  I want to buy the car out credit sucks and I need a co-signer.  Sadie's credit isn't good enough so that leaves me......without a co-signer, without a car, ugh.  Even if by some miracle someone steps forward and offers to co-sign I don't have any money to put towards buying the car.  Nothing for the taxes and fees, etc.  I'm at a loss and the stress of this weighs on me every moment of every day.

Housing.  My mom put her house on the market so she can move up here and buy a house we can all live in together.  It's very promising and the thought of living in a home and not an apartment anymore is amazing.  Then there's the but......but, it can't happen until her house sells.  I worry about all the extra work she's done to ready her house for the market, all the extra money she's spent and worry she won't be able to sell it for the price she needs to pay off her mortgage.  I also worry she'll regret moving and living together and somehow will blame me.  I love her so much for wanting to help and want everything to go well but I am realistic and know there will be bumps in the road.  I just hope we can make it through them OK. 

So there's my bitch fest, my gut spill, my explanation to the world why I am not myself lately.  All of these balls in the air, all of this juggling, worry, stress,'s all sitting here in my head spinning round and round. And now, I will remind myself to live in the moment, this moment in which the dog needs to go out, fun.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Think I Just Got Played

Let me preface this with; I love my kids, a lot.

Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty.  A, the oldest at 7.5, is a bit of a player.  He's the one who can convince me he's sick when really he just wants a day off.  He's good and I'm pretty sure he got it from me, whoops. 

This morning was going well.  A was dressed for school, his bags were packed, we had 20 minutes before we needed to leave and his bedroom looked like a bomb went off.  To be fair, A and Ri share a room so the mess is BOTH of their issues.  Yesterday however, Ri cleaned for 5 minutes when asked to and I did notice a slight improvement.  So, in my infinite wisdom (ha!) I decided A could take 5 minutes before school and work on the room.  WoW!  You would think I asked him to clean the entire house including spit shining the floors and mirrors.  I got attitude, a lot of it, and the amount of whining coming from that room would put that little piggy on the Geico commercials to shame.  5 minutes went by and I opened the door.  Nothing had changed except that my happy agreeable boy from 5 minutes ago was now a crying, snotty, I can't chanting mess.  I informed A that he would do the 5 minutes over after school and it would cut into his Wii time.  When will I learn??  I should have saved that bit of info. for when he arrived home because all I did was start a war.  The boy flew into a rage, slamming doors, melting down and repeating over and over "I can't, I just can't".  Now, I've given in to this before and cuddled and loved him back to a sense of sanity but I've since learned it does no good.  He thinks he can get away with this behavior and does it again, and again.  So today I took the hard line.  We all got ready and walked out the door to the car and A was told to meet us there.  He didn't.  I went in, warned him to get ready.....nothing.  He finally emerged with a snot dripping nose and jacket on but not zipped.  I took it as the white flag.  I drive to school and arrive at the drop off destination.  In my head I am singing a happy little tune and looking forward to the boy child exiting the vehicle but, he doesn't.  I check the doors, yup, unlocked.  Nothing. I remind him where his bags are and still....nothing.  Fearing the wrath of those waiting in line behind me I pull forward into a parking space and get out of the car and open his door.  I walk him in, he's pissed.  I chat with him inside the school to make sure he's OK and as soon as the bags hit his shoulder to go to class the tears are back in his eyes.  This is where I crumble.  I hug, I kiss, I cuddle for a minute and I ask if he wants me to walk him to class.  "No" he says as he starts to walk away.  I take a deep breath and get ready to turn and leave when he stops.  "well, if you want to" he says.  So I sign in as a visitor and together we brave the halls of his school.  I'm expecting a bit of a teary good bye when we arrive at his classroom, to me he's obviously having a really hard time today.  We get there and I brace myself.  A walks in to the room and immediately a huge smile crosses his face.  He turns to look at me and smiles as he says good bye.

I've been played.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

There Are Days.....

when I just want to crawl back into bed and try for a do-over.  I'm not much of a morning person anymore.  I can't say when that changed but currently I enjoy sleeping (or half sleeping while listening to the kids play) until the last possible second.  Once I get up it's kind of  race to get everything done in time but I do, most of the time, barring unforeseen circumstances, like today.

I didn't want to get up this morning but the dog had other ideas even before the alarm.  So I got up with her and dozed on the couch for a bit more.  Sadie was up, showered, dressed and ready to head out the door when she got a text that her ride to work was out sick.  Ugh.  I was stuck figuring out when I was going to get Sadie to work.  I had to get A to school, Ri to speech and then counseling, there wasn't much wiggle room.  That little bit of stress was enough to set me on edge so I got up and hit the shower.  I had Sadie wake the boys (of course they want to sleep in on a school day) so they could start getting ready.  Apparently the dog got in their room and in her puppy exuberance over seeing them she scratched Ri's arm pretty bad.  Post shower I got to play nurse maid to Ri and convince him he was not dying......cue the moaning from A who insists that HE is dying, is exhausted and cannot get up because he will fall right back down he's so tired.  After several minutes consoling A and checking his temp (nope, no fever) he was on his way to getting ready for school.  Everything was falling into place, we were all ready early, I was feeling better about the day and then the toilet overflowed, A LOT.  A, also known as Captain Obvious, stood in the bathroom watching it happen and said simply "there's water coming from the toilet."  3,000 towels, 2 inches of standing toilet water, a waterfall down the stairs to the kitchen and a frantic call from the landladies because they have water coming from the ceiling later....I'm a wreck.  My nerves are shot, my patience gone and the tears spring to my eyes at the mere mention of another 12 hours in my day.  All this and I hadn't even left the house yet.  I sopped up all the water and threw the wet towels into the bathtub and managed to get A to school on time, Ri to speech a few mins. late and Sadie to work.  What I really wanted to do was hop in my car and drive.....just drive until I ended up somewhere far from home, far from toilet water soaked towels and a floor needing to be bleached.

I keep trying to get in a better frame of mind but frankly it's not working.  Thinking positively only gets me so far.  Somehow every time I have to load the washer with more nasty towels my positivity fades.  There's always tomorrow right? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Grown Up Friendships

It's hard to make friends when you are a grown up. I mean real friends. Sure there are lots of people you like and hang out with on the playground at preschool or at soccer games but how many friends are the kind you can depend on? Late this summer my best friend (friends from high school) and I had a fight. We had different visions of what our friendship was and what we wanted from it (I believe I was told I was too needy) and we went our separate ways. In the process of explaining to her how I felt things didn't come out how I meant and her feelings got hurt and she fired back in a big way and my feelings were crushed. We weren't speaking but were still FB "friends" until my kids and I didn't even get an invite to her son's bday party. Her kids have always been like family to me and I considered them my nieces and nephews. So, after hearing about the birthday on FB I couldn't handle the hurt anymore and I deleted her. We haven't spoken in 5 months and it's actually been a good thing for me. I'm glad I stood up for myself and did what I needed to do. (of course, there are 2 sides to every story and I am sure she has her own and that's fine)

I began broadening my friendship horizons and started getting closer with another preschool mom, Jess. For whatever reason we just kind of click. We can hang out and gossip and chit chat but we can also hang out and not say much and it's not awkward. It's nice. Right now I'd say she's the closest thing I have to a best friend.

A little over 6 months ago Jessica's best friend Karolina died, suddenly, of a brain aneurysm. I hear about Karolina a lot, she must have been an amazing person and friend. I worry I will never be as good a friend and Jess deserves it. Ever since Karolina's death Jess has wanted an MRI. She and Karolina used to both get headaches and after the aneurysm Jess needed peace of mind that she didn't have one too. It took a while for her to convince her doctor and in the end it took her husband Eric going in and getting her a referral to a neurologist. I love that he took care of her like that. So, recently she had an MRI. It was supposed to be quick, no contrast and then they pulled her out and said they had just spoken with her doctor and she now wanted contrast. The next day Jess found out she has a brain tumor. All I could think was WTF?? What are the odds that she was going in to rule out an aneurysm and would instead find out she had a tumor. Everything since then has been a bit of a blur. She's having surgery this Friday to have it removed. They are unsure of so many things and her recovery is really based on what happens Friday. It could be really fast and easy or it could be long and painful. At any rate, I'm scared. I'm scared for what she has to go through and all the things she's scared about. Most of all though I'm scared that I am going to lose my friend. I don't mean that I think she will die but that this will change her. I've googled all I can google and that's one of the things that keeps coming up. Personality changes, mood changes......sigh. I just want her to be her and to not have to go through this. It seems like too much for someone who's already been through so much this year. So keep her in your thoughts please, she needs all the positive thinking she can get.

More on Jess:

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I've been MIA

I was so excited in that last post for the boys to be going back to school. After a busy summer trying to keep them entertained I was ready for a little peace and quiet. Has anyone seen my peace and quiet?

I cannot believe how busy our lives are. Riley has preschool 3 times a week for a few hours and speech the other 2 days plus a therapy appointment. Aiden has school every day and once a week while Ri is at school I volunteer in his classroom. One day a week after school he has a therapy appt and one night a week he has basketball practice. Saturday mornings find us at Aiden's basketball games and Saturday afternoons are usually spent visiting grandparents or having playdates, etc. I'm not sure where working parents find the time for all of this. At this point it's nearly impossible for me to get a regular job, there's just no time unless you count nights.

A lot of people have been asking lately why I don't work. We obviously need the income. Mostly I think that it's no one's business but part of me wants to explain because I don't think they get it. My partner in life is blind. It adds this completely different element to our relationship. For the most part she's wonderfully independent. She works full time, has arranged rides to and from work most days, and though she complains, I also think she's proud to support her family. Now that said there are just things she can't do. She can't pick the kids up from school if they are sick, can't take them to doctors appointments, and can't go in to work late or leave early if I need her to. All of those things make me getting a regular job really difficult. Could we do it? Yes. Would it be worth the little money that was left after having to pay for child care for Ri and before and after school for A? No. So until it's easier I stay home and I really do love it. I'm exhausted and sometimes bored with almost 5 year old and 7.5 year old humor but I wouldn't trade it.

So that's where I've, there and everywhere multiple times a day :)